Mundo Colombia

After two decades of toiling in relative obscurity, Celso PiÑa—a Mexican accordionist who plays traditional Colombian cumbias and vallenatos—suddenly became hip last year with Bar

After two decades of toiling in relative obscurity, Celso Piña—a Mexican accordionist who plays traditional Colombian cumbias and vallenatos—suddenly became hip last year with Barrio Bravo, an album featuring cutting-edge Latin rock and hip-hop guest artists. In Mundo Colombia, Piña improves on the formula with an even more organic and cohesive sound and a most seamless, rocking fusion applied to traditional and new tracks. The album kicks off with "El Tren (Mr. Cumbia Man)," a hip-hop cumbia that features rapper Blanquito Man and a driving electric bass that's simply delicious under the cumbia rhythm. As in Barrio Bravo, Mundo Colombia is more a collaborative than a solo effort, and guest artists from Flaco Jiménez to Julieta Venegas appear on virtually every track. Notables on this overall excellent album include the virtuoso accordion playing of Piña and Jorge Leal "Chapas" on "El Tiempo," which is also carried by Alejandro Rosso's jazz piano, Venegas' vocals in the evocative "La Piragua," and Alejandro Marcovich's funky e-bow playing in "Caballo Viejo." Consider this a blueprint for fusion.—LC